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What kind of software are you using to bid new home construction. I've been getting alot of calls to bid custom homes, and have been using the standard method of handing out plans to subs, and waiting 2-3 weeks for a response. The problem I'm having is half the bids never come in. And 3 weeks is just too long to wait. Everybody is busy this time of year, (including myself) but I like to plan for the slower winter.
So!
Any advice? What software?
thanks,
DK
 

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DGR,IABD
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Personally, I wouldn't jump on the software bandwagon right away unless you've got a lot of time to devote to plugging in your own historical numbers to the software. If you use software right out of the box, you might bid really high or really low. If you're mainly looking to get the sub's bids in quicker, you could look back over your historcal data to get you in the ballpark. Take square footage and device by bid price and you can derive an average square foot price that will get you pretty close. You might find, for instance, that your electrical has historically been around 2.50 a square foot, your plumbing around 3.00 per square foot, etc. This is where doing job cost analysis on every job helps you to become a better bidder.
 

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Pricing data, or software, is a good guideline. But nothing beats your real world local costs. Too many variables to put in any book.

It's a gut thing I know you understand.
 

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dmkhnr said:
What kind of software are you using to bid new home construction. I've been getting alot of calls to bid custom homes, and have been using the standard method of handing out plans to subs, and waiting 2-3 weeks for a response. The problem I'm having is half the bids never come in. And 3 weeks is just too long to wait. Everybody is busy this time of year, (including myself) but I like to plan for the slower winter.
So!
Any advice? What software?
thanks,
DK
I'll agree with the others. Unless you've got massive quantities of up-to-date unit pricing from current suppliers and subs at your disposal (and the time and energy to enter it all into a computer program), you're out of your mind to rely on anything but sub pricing- especially when the word "custom" is in the equation.

If your subs aren't getting pricing back to you in 3 weeks, it sounds like you need to find new subs, as the guys you're using don't need the work. And if your clients can't wait 3 weeks for a price on something that costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, sound like you might want to find some new clients, as they've obviously done a poor job of planning the bid process by not allowing enough time for it to be completed properly.

Your other options would be to roll some dice to see what numbers come up, or consult a Ouija board- both of them would have about the same chance of being accurate as using the numbers that come with a canned software package or book.

Bob
 

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Our general contractors supply free plans. If we don't submit a price they charge for the next set. We do not bid to GC's who charge for plans and have never missed a bid date. Our general turn around is 1 week. But we get the majority of our work over our compeitition, because our client's can call us and while on the phone or within an hour we can get them a price. Our office is fully digital and it makes takeoffs a breeze.

Thanks
Electro
 

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Don't forget to qualify your proposals with regards to time. "Valid for sixty days", or something like that.
 
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